Nokia looking for new CEO?

Tue, 07/20/2010 - 8:15am
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

Nokia could be in the market for a new CEO, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal citing "people familiar with the situation." 

Nokia declined to comment on the reports.

"Nokia is in a tough spot," said wireless, telecom and technology analyst Jeff Kagan. "They are still the number one handset maker but are shrinking. At this rate, they will not be number one for long."

Rumors abound on a replacement for current CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo as investors worry that the company offers nothing substantial to counter competitors in the high-end smartphone market.

Kagan said that the challenges faced by a new CEO at Nokia would be many. "They have to update their brand. They have to talk to the world and expand their brand. The solution is clear, but obviously it is harder than they thought," he said.

One of the biggest criticisms leveled at Nokia is it has failed to make any meaningful play in North American markets. Kagan said it's not clear whether a new CEO will solve all of Nokia's problems, but it's a good first step.

"Will a new CEO be able to save the company? Or will we see a new leader in the space? Perhaps Nokia will suffer the same fate as Motorola did in the late 1990s and 2000s. Or perhaps they will do something to capture the imagination," he said.

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